This type of scam is challenging to prevent and detect because, from the seller's perspective, everything seems to proceed normally. It's important to note that they can occur in any type of peer-to-peer exchange, not just on @lnp2pbot. These scams involve a scammer acting as an intermediary between the victim and the seller, where the seller receives the fiat sent by the victim but hands over the Sats to the scammer.
The scammer offers the sale of products or services (whether it's a second-hand item or even iPhone unlocking) on any social network or specialized platform for buying and selling. When the victim contacts the scammer, they request an upfront payment. Simultaneously, the scammer posts an offer to buy Sats on @lnp2pbot (or another peer-to-peer exchange) for an amount equivalent to the fiat they aim to scam (they might put up an offer with a high premium to make it more attractive). When the scammer finds a Sats seller and requests their details to receive the fiat, they provide these details to the victim for the aforementioned upfront payment. Once the victim's fiat reaches the Sats seller and the seller presses the
/release command, the bitcoins are released to the scammer, who disappears and never fulfills the service or sale promised to the victim.
It's crucial to emphasize that the Sats seller is also a victim in this triangulation, as they interact only with the scammer, unaware of a third party in the exchange. They assume that the fiat they receive was directly sent by the buyer of their Sats. However, they might face accusations of fraud when their bank details are provided to authorities in a report regarding payment for a service or product that wasn't received. It's advisable not to delete the bot's history or chats with your Sats buyers or to create a backup, as these records might be necessary as evidence to prove that no one was scammed.
Some scammers might even ask for additional personal information from sellers to later share it with the direct victims of the triangulation, creating a sense of trust. Therefore, it's recommended not to provide personal information like phone numbers, full names, or addresses unless it's essential for the payment method used.